Coprosma repens

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Coprosma repens
Coprosma repens 11.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Coprosma
C. repens
Binomial name
Coprosma repens

Coprosma baueriana Hook. f.
Coprosma baueri auct. non Endl.
Coprosma retusa Hook. f
Coprosma stockii Williams

Coprosma repens is a species of flowering shrub or small tree of the genus Coprosma, in the family Rubiaceae, native to New Zealand.[1] Common names include tree bedstraw,[2] taupata, mirror bush, looking-glass bush, New Zealand laurel and shiny leaf.[3][4][5]


The habit of this species varies markedly with its situation. In exposed situations, such as cliffs, it assumes a prostrate habit, while in more sheltered areas it can grow as a small tree up to 8 metres in height.[6] It has thick and very glossy leaves which vary considerably in size, depending on exposure to the elements. The leaf margins are recurved, occasionally to the extent that the leaf may be cylindrical in cross-section.[6] The shiny leaves aid its survival near coastal locations.

Flowers are produced in spring and summer, the male flowers appearing in dense, compound clusters, the female flowers in smaller clusters.[4] Female plants produce orange-red ovoid drupes which are around 8 mm in diameter and 10 mm in length.[6]


The species is native to the North Island, South Island, Kermadec Islands and Three Kings Islands in New Zealand.[6] In Australia it has become naturalised in coastal areas of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania,[4] to the extent that it is now classified as an environmental weed.[3]


The species has been popular in coastal gardens due to its resistance to salt spray.[3] Although it prefers well-drained sandy soils, it can cope with heavier soils.[5]

Cluster of cream-coloured anthers on droopy white stalks
Cluster of translucent purple stalks, curving upward
Taupata flowers

There is a large number of cultivars:

  • 'Coffee Cream' - creamy-yellow leaf margins
  • 'Coppershine' - foliage with a copper-bronze tinge
  • 'Marble Chips' - leaves with white margins and speckles
  • 'Picturata' - leaves with a golden central area
  • 'Pink Splendour'- leaves have pink and maroon shaded margins
  • 'Rainbow Surprise' - a small cultivar with small pink and yellow-green leaves
  • 'Taupata Gold' - cream leaves with green centres
  • 'Variegata' - leaves with a creamy-white margin
  • 'Yvonne' - compact form with dark-green leaves[7]

The cultivars 'Marble Queen'[8] and 'Picturata'[9] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (confirmed 2017).[10]


'Picturata' - a garden variety
  1. ^ "WCSP". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Retrieved 2010. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. ^ a b c "Weed Identification - Looking glass bush". Weeds Australia. Australian Weeds Committee. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  4. ^ a b c "Coprosma repens A.Rich". PlantNET - New South Wales Flora Online. Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney Australia. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  5. ^ a b "Shiny Leaf - Coprosma repens". Environmental Weeds of the South East. Department of Environment and Heritage South Australia. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  6. ^ a b c d "Coprosma repens". Flora of New Zealand Series. Landcare Research. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  7. ^ Kirsten, Keith; Lizelle Meyer-Faedda (2001). Gardening with Keith Kirsten. Struik Press. ISBN 1868725073.
  8. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Coprosma repens 'Marble Queen'". Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  9. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Coprosma repens 'Picturata'". Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  10. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 22. Retrieved 24 January 2018.